1  Introduction

This Policy explains how YCI manages feedback from members of the public.

It defines:

  • The expected process for acknowledging, investigating and responding to complaints or concerns
  • Our approach to transparency and learning from complaints and concerns raised

2  Policy Statement

We openly welcome compliments and complaints because:

  • feedback helps us improve as an organisation and become more effective
  • complaints are especially important in helping us see where our procedures and performance can be bettered
  • when we’re made aware of an issue we have the opportunity to address it and seek to prevent it from happening again, learning from our mistakes

We aim to provide a high-quality service to all our supporters, whom we rely on to fund and support our vital work and to members of the public, who may participate in events or fundraise on our behalf. We will treat our supporters with care, consideration and respect in line with our values and our Supporter Promise.

2.1  Legal Framework

The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 requires registered charities to publish annually how many complaints the charity or anyone acting on its behalf has received about its fundraising activities.

We seek to meet this duty by publishing in our annual Trustees Report and Accounts the number of complaints received and to consider disclosure of complaints not linked to fundraising, balancing transparency with a need to protect complainants’ confidentiality.

2.2  Principles for how we manage feedback, compliments and complaints

  • Fairness: We aspire to be fair to everyone we come in to contact with. We will be led by evidence and not make assumptions.
  • Proportionality: We promise to take all complaints seriously, and to deal with them in a timely manner. We will investigate all complaints thoroughly, should a complaint present a higher risk of potential harm to an individual or our mission we will commit additional resources to an investigation and response.
  • No victimisation: Complainants will be treated with respect, courtesy and receive appropriate support throughout the handling of the complaint. A complainant will not be disadvantaged or treated unfairly.
  • Accessibility: we may need to offer additional support to enable people to give us feedback. This might include provision of advocacy support or other reasonable adjustment to ensure their full and equal participation in the process.
  • Integrity: Where possible, we will ensure that complaints are investigated by someone within the organisation who is independent of the events complained about. Where this is not possible, we will consider whether and at what stage a third party outside of the organisation should be asked to investigate the complaint.
  • Prompt action: Concerns and complaints should be dealt with efficiently, properly investigated and an appropriate response provided, identifying the outcome of any investigation.
  • Lessons learnt: Learning from complaints will be used to improve our work. We will seek to act where necessary in the light of the outcome of the complaint.
  • Appeal: If the complainant is not happy with the result of the response to the complaint they will be told about next steps and any process of further review.
  • External scrutiny: Y Care International is a member of regulatory bodies (for example the Fundraising Regulator) or governed by statutory regulators. We will always aim to signpost complainants to these bodies as appropriate and cooperate fully if they investigate.

3  When This Policy Applies

This policy and associated procedures apply to all YCI fundraising and marketing activities. For any other types of feedback please follow this procedure which may be adapted depending on the nature of the feedback.

4  Procedure for Feedback, Complaints & Concerns

Step 1: Informal resolution  

You can call us, write to us or email us with your feedback, compliments or complaints and our staff will be pleased to help. You can contact us, ideally by telephone, as this is often the most effective way for us to find out exactly what has happened; we can always call you back. We will strive to resolve the situation quickly, efficiently and hopefully to your satisfaction.

Most issues can be resolved by calling our Fundraising Team helpline on 020 7549 3175 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. They will also take details if it is a non-fundraising related matter.

We will try to resolve the problem straight away if we can. If we can’t do this – for example, because we need to carry out further investigation – then we will make a record of your complaint and agree the best way and time to contact you. This will normally be within three working days, unless we make some other arrangement that is acceptable to you.

If you prefer to write to us about your complaint, please send your letter or email, together with your name, address and contact telephone number to:

Supporter Care Officer
Y Care International
The Davenant Centre
179-181 Whitechapel Road
London E1 1DN

You can also email your complaint to enq@ycareinternational.org

Anyone can change how often they receive communications from YCI by contacting us directly or by using the Fundraising Preference Service which we are registered with.

Step 2: Taking your complaint further

If after receiving feedback you are still unhappy, the next step is to put your complaint in writing, by letter or email.

To ensure that we can respond as quickly as possible please set out the details of the complaint, including any relevant materials and any explanation of why you are not satisfied with our response. We would welcome your view on what you would like us to do to put things right and whether you think you may need additional support to help you through this process.

You can send this to the Office Administrator at enq@ycareinternational.org who will ensure that this is passed to the relevant Departmental Director. If the complaint or feedback is about a Departmental Director, it may be passed to the Chief Executive. If your complaint is about the Chief Executive, it will be passed to the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Some issues may be directly passed onto our HR team to lead an investigation.

Once we have received a formal written complaint, it will be acknowledged by the relevant individual. Your complaint will be acknowledged in writing or via email within three working days from receipt and the letter will say when you can expect a full response.

We will arrange for your complaint to be fully investigated. This should normally be within ten working days, unless the matter is more complicated, in which case it may take us up to twenty-one working days. Where this is the case, we will update you with what action is being taken and tell you when we expect to be able to provide you with a full response.

Step 3: If you are still not satisfied with our response

If, upon receipt of the full response from the Director, or other relevant individual, you are still not satisfied, please let us know in writing. Your complaint may be passed to our Chief Executive for further investigation and response. You can expect to receive a full response from the Chief Executive within ten working days from receipt of your letter or email.

We will detail potential next steps which may include external review by the Board of Trustees or escalation to an external body which may be able to assist.

Step 4: Taking your complaint outside the organisation

If all internal review options have been exhausted and you are not satisfied with the response from the Chief Executive or Board of Trustees, you can seek advice from outside the organisation.

  • If the nature of your complaint is related to our fundraising work, it is possible to log your complaint with the Fundraising Regulator using their online form or the Advertising Standards Authority if appropriate.
  • If the nature of your complaint is related to any other aspect of our work you may be able to raise the issue with The Charity Commission

Policy Implementation

The Chief Executive is responsible for the implementation of this complaints procedure. Responsibility for carrying out investigations of complaints may be delegated to appropriate staff under the authority of the CEO as appropriate.

The Chief Executive must ensure that an accurate record is kept of complaints received, the outcomes of investigations and the reasons for their decisions. The number and nature of complaints will be shared with trustees as appropriate. Any complaints leading to changes in policy or services will be shared with trustees. We will seek to review regularly the complaints we have received to identify any trends or wider learning.

The Board of Trustees will ensure that YCI meets its legal duties to publish information about complaints received by including relevant information as provided by staff in their annual Accounts and Report.